Space status

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NURDspace Project
Participants Bjornl, Buzz, Petraea, Zarya
Tool category
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Goal: (semi)automatic updates when space opens and closes. Hardware based on Arduino with all manner of sensors (contact, LDR, temperature). Software: SpaceBot


  • IRC -> done
  • Twitter -> <- It would be sw33t to auto-spam twitter with activity in our space -> done
  • Space API JSON: -> done
  • Wiki -> available using a widget
  • 'Wall': have the start page of our site display all sorts of live info and put the wiki behind a link. See above, we use a widget on the wiki to show this stuff
  • Facebook: has been linked to the Twitter feed (yech)


  • Nice big red button? automatic > manual
  • Manual override is possible, login to dockstar and screen -r to SpaceBot
  • Motion detection @ cam?
  • Detection @ lock? Works for back door, working on front door...
  • ...


10 april 2012

Since we have internet, we can now have updates! First step is the iBook G4 that runs a small Java IRC bot that can be controlled from the console by typing 'o' or 'c' (for 'open' and 'close'). It then updates the space status in the #nurds topic. Next step is a GUI (Swing).

12 april 2012

An LDR has been connected to the half-broken Arduino and the iBook has been freed of its duties. buZz installed Java on the Dockstar and the software runs there now. The Arduino has been connected and everything works. We also proved that the bot can send DMX commands, currently fading in the only lamp connected as the space opens and fading it out as it closes.

18 april 2012

DS18B20 has been connected! You can now query the lights status, temperature or a summary using !lights, !temp and !status.

19 april 2012

DS18B20 no longer functioning :( stopped working when soldering everything to a board. LDR gives wrong readings. Unfortunately, we can't seem to find out what's wrong...

23 april 2012

Faulty soldering of the 100 kOhm pull-down resistor for the LDR was at least partly to blame. LDR works correctly again and SpaceBot has been restarted. DS18B20 has been removed for now.

25 april 2012

Everything has been resoldered and a spare DS18B20 is used now. Everything seems to work again.

29 april 2012

Complete redesign of sources, which makes it easier to integrate new media. Twitter updater added. Space API JSON added.

30 april 2012

Added temperature to the Space API JSON.

october 2012

Status is now controlled by the locks.


All Arduino sources have been checked in to the Subversion repository 'nurdspace' under /spacebot/arduino

Further steps

Further steps may include:

  • connect an Arduino to the iBook and access it using a Java API (you'll need );
  • connect a Big Red Button to the Arduino to control space status; automatic > manual
  • LDR close to the fluorescent lighting connected to the Arduino;
  • complete redesign of code, it's messy as hell now;
  • redesign of hardware, it's messy as hell now;
  • incorporating the temperature sensor (currently on the Teensy) on the Arduino;
  • fix and/or replace DS18B20
  • fix LDR
  • detection inside the lock connected to the Arduino; -> works for the back door, working on front door
  • separate lamp to announce space status (connected to the dimmer);
Our site is hosted by Site4U
Our connectivity is made available by BIT
To BIT's website